zoe77 - I just read reviews on Amazon.com - here is the link to the reviews I read (although there are MANY) and here's the one specifically that talks about what I said (this was one of a couple that I read)"
This didn't work for me either. I only started taking it April 12th, but the first period I had right when I started it was extremely heavy, crampy and miserable. Not anything like my "normal" ones. I say "normal" because I have PCOS and can have long intervals between periods and have sometimes had to have medication to stop the bleeding, but it has never felt this way (not since I was a teenager, anyway). And now, I'm approximately 45 days into my cycle and still haven't had another period while taking Vitex. This isn't a huge concern for me as I realize it can take some time to build up in the system and work properly, but my problem is this: starting at around Mother's Day, I started getting so bloated and crampy that I thought AF was coming, except she didn't. The bloating and cramping only continued to get worse (the cramping is on and off, but enough to make me curl up in bed and not wanna move much(, with the bloating being the worst! It's been so bad that my clothes don't fit, nothing helps ease it, I look pregnant and feel absolutely miserable. I've found other women who say this has happened to them as well, while others haven't experienced it at all. I'm not going to keep taking it to find out if it'll eventually balance out or not. The miserable bloating and cramping I'm going through are no where worth it. I'm bummed. I had high hopes as this PCOS has taken a real toll on my fertility :( Best of luck to others out there and just know that these are potential side effects, but you simply won't know until you try it.
Soooo, I just got the shock of my life today and found out that I'm pregnant with #2!!! Because of my PCOS and two negative pregnancy tests, I assumed my symptoms were caused by the Vitex. I was obviously wrong!! I know that you're not supposed to take Vitex while pregnant, but since I had no idea, I'm very thankful that it intensified my symptoms and got me to quit taking it. So, it does work and I only took it from April 12 - May 26-ish. There is hope! Hang in there!!
Mittens - One of the other mamas wrote a great post earlier this month - maybe scroll back and see if you can find it. Basically, what she said is that every mama is different. Some mamas don't get their cycles back until completely weaning their baby, some mamas get their cycle back, but then can't get pregnant until after weaning or many cycles, some mamas need herbal and chemical help to get pregnant and stay pregnant, and other mamas have their fertility return quickly! What I've read about nursing (from a variety of sources - and mamas, please correct me if I'm wrong!) - chemically your body produces prolactin (pro-lactation) to produce milk for your LO. Prolactin naturally inhibits progesterone - which is needed by the developing fetus to sustain a pregnancy. Therefore, nursing typically inhibits another pregnancy! This is natures way of telling us to space out our children and making sure we sustain the nutritional needs of our growing LO. However, that being said, if you're not spotting, then there's a good chance that your progesterone levels are normal. IMO, the reason my midwife suggested progesterone is because with DS (pregnancy #1) I didn't spot at all AND (from what I've read) progesterone supplements in general (not just nursing mamas) can decrease the chance of miscarriage by up to 50%
**OK - I have to come clean on that last part - Mariah Carey said her doctors told her this when she was pregnant with her twins on the Barbara Walters special the other day (re: progesterone and miscarriage rates) - it was on The View **
So - do I think you need to get on progesterone to help your chances of a successful pregnancy... I don't know - sorry! I think you should call your care provider and get their opinion. Also, do your research! I personally felt comfortable with what I read (and heard) about progesterone creams and after my midwife suggested it sounded like something that was positive to use to help this pregnancy! Good luck - HTH!
Carlin - keeping my fingers crossed for you too!